Expect a change in the world around you when Jesus takes control of your life.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? Oh, I trust so. I’ve been praying just before I went on the air that God would make every word to be a blessing somehow to some people who are needing whatever the Holy Spirit of God may say as we look into the word of God, God’s inerrant, infallible, eternal word, the Bible. We’re in the Book of John. Are you enjoying this? I hope you are. And we’ve come to this precious passage that is clumped together there from verse 11 on through verse 14. Let me read it for us once again, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” The way you read that is He came to His own creation and His own people received Him not. “But as many has received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth.”
Then it changes the approach and goes back to John the Baptist, saying John bore witness of Him, saying, “This is He.” Well, let’s look at those verses once again, shall we? He came unto His own creation, His own things, and His own people didn’t receive Him. I suppose the greatest hurt of all is that which is produced by rejection coming from people who are yours, people to whom you belong. You’ve been through that, some of you. Parents that have rejected you, or a husband, or a wife that has rejected you, or children who have strayed away and rejected you. Family gatherings where you are an outsider because of something that may have happened. Oh, that hurts, doesn’t it? Yes, it does. Now you multiply that a billion, billion times and you’ll just begin to scratch the surface of the deep hurt that was felt in the heart of our Savior when He came into a world that He had made, people whom He had created and found them unresponsive and rejecting.
But it says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He the authority, the right to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” That’s where we were the last time we got together, and I reminded you that receive has to do with receiving a person. This may seem overly simple to so many of you. I think that’s been [chuckle] the comment that came to me from people through the years. “Cook, you’re too simple.” Well, maybe so. Most important things in life are simple when you stop to think about it. But he said, “As many as received Him.” Your dealings with God have to be on the basis of receiving and surrendering to a person. If you’re not a Christian as you’re listening to me today and you say, “No, I’m not born from above, born again Christian. I’m not.” Well, if you’re not, why not? “Oh,” you say, “I’ve got all these intellectual difficulties.” I’m not gonna put you down for saying that. No doubt you do have some genuine questions and doubts.
But when you strip it all away and come to the very nub of the question, it turns out to be that you’re not really willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord, because then He would start to run things and change things, and you’re afraid of that. And you won’t do it. At least, you haven’t as yet. That’s why the Scripture says, “As many as received Him whom we preach,” says Paul, a relative pronoun. We preach Him, teaching every man, warning every man. See, it’s the relationship between you and Jesus Christ, a wonderful person who came down the stairways of the stars to be among us and to die for us, and to rise again to be our living Savior. This person is the one who says, “I stand at the door and knock.” That’s the door of your life. “If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.”
“As many as received Him.” Your quarrel is not with the church. People say so many hypocrites in the church. Well, you find a great many more outside, believe me. And they say, “I’ve got difficulties intellectual, difficulties with the Bible.” That may be, but the real problem is, “Who’s gonna run my life?” There’s a famous entertainer whose phrase always has been, “Don’t tell me, ask me.” He doesn’t wanna be bossed. He’s gotta be Mr. Big. This is human nature in the raw, and that is precisely what keeps many people from receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior, they don’t want Him to take control. This was the cry that people gave at the cross, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” Now, where do you stand in all of that, beloved? Have you passed that point where you were willing to say, “Lord Jesus, be Lord of my life.”
And like Saul of Tarsus apprehended in his mad dash toward Damascus, murder in his, heart and now came the shining light and now he falls to the ground and raising those sightless eyes up toward heaven he said, “Who art thou, Lord?” The answer came back, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” Then he says, “What will thou have me to do, Lord?” There is the turning point, to turn things over over to the Lord Jesus Christ. Friend of mine was telling me how his life was changed. He said it happened when he was on a trip from Detroit to Toledo, Ohio. He had been at a business convention with a friend of his, and they were driving back along, I suppose, what used to be known as Telegraph Highway that goes between the two cities. And he said he was so burdened and so upset and so under conviction as he drove along, that he pulled the car over to the side and said to his friend, “You drive for a while. I’m gonna sit in the backseat, I got some heavy thinking to do.”
And so he got out from behind the driver’s seat, he said, and got into the backseat of his car and his buddy took over the driving. And he said he just bowed his head and he said, “Lord, I can’t handle things, you have to take them over.” And there as he prays they sped along the passing miles, in the backseat of his own car, he gave Jesus Christ the right to run things. He told me that there was a change in his life from that moment on.
Well, of course, there would be a change when Jesus takes control. “For if any man be in Christ,” Paul says, “he is a new creation; old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.” God makes a difference if you let Him. “As many as received Him… ” You deal with the person first, not with the arguments, not with the doubts, not with the questions, you deal with the person. Then you let Him take hold of some of these other areas that may have troubled you. Do you follow me there? Do you understand that? Then he goes on to say, “Even to them that believe on his name,” His name is Jesus and that means saviour. If you believe on His name, that means in faith, you’re gonna trust Him to do what His name means, to save, you! “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”, said the angel to Joseph, “for He shall save His people from their sins.” Jesus means saviour. And so if you call upon Him and ask Him to make you a child of God, and to save you from your sin and to give you that new life in Christ, He will! As you trust Him to do what His name means.
Now notice the progression of truth here then. Receive the person, believe, let Him do in other words what His name means, and what does that equal? Verse 13, “Which were born… ” We talk about being born again. Jesus used that term, “Except a man be born again… ” Greek word is ‘anothen’, from above. Born from above. A heavenly birth instead of just a physical birth! Then He went on to explain to Nicodemus, “Nicodemus, you had a physical birth, now you need a spiritual birth. You were born, as the ancient said, the birth by water, which obviously was a reference to the bursting of the bag of waters before a mother will give birth to a child, But now, He says, you need to be born of the Spirit. Or other interpreters… Someone is gonna check me on this, I know. So I’ll just let you know I’m aware of it, other interpreters use this as a reference to the word of God, born of the word of God, the water, the washing of water by the word, says Paul. The picture word for God’s truth is water, and so our Saviour may well have meant, “You need a birth that comes by the application of the word of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.”
Either way, it’s true. And he said, you had a physical birth once, now you need a spiritual birth. And so, here’s the way it works. “How then shall I be born again?” somebody is asking. Well, receive the person! Trust Him to do what His name means, and you’ll be born. Which we’re born… See, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. Not of blood means your inheritance, the will of the flesh means your own human tendencies, the will of man means some legislation put upon you to make you different. But they were born, it says, of God. Now, how does that relationship occur? He said, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We won’t finish this verse today because time will run out, we’ve only a few more seconds left in this broadcast, but let’s start it anyway. The Word was made flesh. No one can understand what you’re going through unless that person has gone through it himself.
Well-meaning friends often come to you to try to comfort you and say, “Well, cheer up.” It reminds me of that old joke where the man said, “They told me to cheer up, things could be worse. And I cheered up and sure enough they got worse.” [chuckle] But we tend to feel a little resentful, don’t we? When somebody who has never been there, in terms of the experience we’re going through, gives us some lighthearted advice about cheering up and all of that. And we think to ourselves, “Little does he know… Little does she know how I feel.” Because they’ve never really been through it. Yes, I know that’s true. But friend, when you come to dealing with the Lord Jesus, “He was tempted,” it says, “in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” The Word was made flesh. He had a human body. He was subject to the experiences and feelings and trials that you and I face. And it was not just for an instant, it says, “He dwelt among us.” He stuck around long enough to experience these things. We’ll talk about that the next time we get together.
Father God, today may we be in constant touch with this wonderful Lord Jesus, our living Lord. In His name I pray. Amen. Till I meet you once again by way of radio. Walk with the King today and be a blessing.
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